The next evening, after a day jam-packed of sightseeing including the Sydney Opera House, botanical gardens, a ferry tour to nearby island and the historic old town- the Rocks, there is a traditional Australian feast in the hotel’s ballroom.
We make it slightly groggy from a combination of jetlag and still being sick (antibiotics now nestled safely in between the miniature vodka and gin in the minibar). It’s amazing, they have completely transformed the ballroom into the Australian outback! They even have live animals everywhere- the highlights of course being the koalas and the kangaroos.
The guy from the movie “crocodile Dundee” is there (what an oldie…and let’s just say if you haven’t heard of this film- cherish your youth!) and as we stand in line for a picture, our son skips ahead to go ask him about crocodiles. Other people tell our three year old to “wait his turn” but he just turns around, smiles and tells them “I’m just telling him not to play with crocodiles because my mama says they can bite!” That’s right buddy! That’s my guy!
Then he does pose for a picture…but not with the “old guy” but with a huge (obviously not real) crocodile. As we switch kids, little boy unfortunately decides to cough so much that he vomits all over himself and his dad! Lucky switch for me…for my husband- not so much! The guys go back to the room to shower after I instruct them to put their clothes (even shoes-yuck!) in plastic bags outside the door.
Baby girl and I enjoy some authentic Australian food, dance and music before we go to bed!
The next day, we are promised a day amongst the kangaroos before we go on to an Australian sheep farm. Unfortunately, there is a huge (pile up) accident on the Sydney harbor bridge, so our two hour bus ride turns into almost five! And we have to skip the kangaroos (one sad three-year old in that bus). Here in Australia they call a crash a “smash” and our hysterically funny British old lady tour guide keep telling us other “funny” Australian words and phrases as well as endless stories and jokes. Did you know the “UGG” boots are not some fancy brand name for sheep skin boots but rather an Australian nickname for “ugly boots”? One time she had to use one of the “porta potties” while touring woop woop- which is what Australian call “middle of nowhere” and had the world’s second deadliest snake crawl up her behind. Since then the snake is lovingly called “number two” (get it?). She also told princess Diana on a private tour that she was “team Di against Charles”…(might have been a bit too personal).
I feel quite bad for her, having to entertain a bunch of Americans for almost five hours- she is good at it though, I’ll give her that.
Luckily for us, our kids are angels and everyone on the bus are beyond impressed. After the initial “no kangaroos” disappointment, both kids settle into their borrowed car seats (glad we brought our own…) and sleep for the rest of the ride!
The sheep farm is an interesting place where we get to meet not only sheep but sheep dogs, horses and geese. We get to eat freshly baked bread dipped in sugared syrup with hot tea boiled over the camp fire and feed some lazy cows. Our son is delighted to be picked to play camp fire songs and sing with an Australian outback band, see sheep “getting haircuts”, throw a boomerang, learn about a “billabong” meet a blind cat and get a whole bowl full of croutons for dinner! The only negatives were that both the sheep dog and our peppy old tour guide got trampled by some sheep. Both got a little injured and a lot “shook up”. The dog was fine after some pets and some treats by its owner but “our funny lady” didn’t have quite as many jokes in her repertoire on the way back however. Good thing this ride was less than two hours!
The week go by way to quickly! The more we all recover from our illness, the more we want to stay longer. We explore all the islands around Sydney, we go to the most incredible beaches, we see a world famous mall and we eat at some fabulous pubs and restaurants. We also get to go to an indoor zoo on one of the islands- it is literary in a skyscraper overlooking the ocean. The basements hosts one of the world’s largest reptiles-a crocodile that has killed off every single female that they have tried to mate him with. Now he lives there- in the basement-alone!
Australia is home to more deadly animals than any other continent. Our son is learning so much and he is just loving seeing all the animals and talks about them all the time. His daddy and I love that he gets to experience all of this and that he is old enough to take it all in. We get a second chance to hang with the kangaroos during a private “walk about” and we also get “up, close and personal” with some koalas.
With only two days left of our trip, I decide to take advantage of the complimentary massage and spa day at the hotel! Well, that doesn’t go as planned…